Beatrice Page (1882-1976) - On the Trams
Beatrice Page driving a tram, January 1916
(Courtesy of Press Association Images)
Staff of the Weston-super-Mare Tramways, who were all male until 1916, c. 1909
(North Somerset Council and Somerset County Council Heritage Service, 2014)
Beatrice Page was the first female tram driver in the country
On the Trams
In 1916 Beatrice became the first female tram driver in the country. All young fit men were now required by law to join the armed services. This meant that the Weston-super-Mare Tramways lost many of its tram drivers.
The Managing Director decided that the only way to replace their drivers was by employing women for the duration of the war. The Company paid women drivers less than they had paid the men. In August 1918 the women workers went on strike for equal pay.
Beatrice’s husband William served with the 3rd Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry. His Battalion recruited and trained new soldiers who were then sent to join the other Battalions who were fighting abroad. He was stationed in Devonport from 1914-1917 and Londonderry and Belfast from 1917 to 1919.